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2021 Playoff Analysis: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Elite Quarterback
7 points
Premiere Offensive Weapons
2 points per player
Rob Gronkowski
Leonard Fournette
Mike Evans
Elite Pass Rushers
4 points per player
Shaquil Barrett
Devin White
Quality Offensive Coaching
6 points
Tom Brady
Quality Defensive Coaching
6 points
Todd Bowles
Number of Successful Comebacks
7 total points if the team successfully staged at least 3 comebacks
Elimination Game Experience
2 points each for offense, defense, and special teams units, provided a majority of key role players on a given unit have experience in elimination game scenarios.
Special Teams
Quarterback Elimination Game Experience
6 points if a quarterback has experience in an elimination game
Score Range
33 - 45

Tampa Bay would be a serious contender for the Super Bowl if it weren’t the injury bug plaguing them at the worst possible time. Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown are out for the season, the former having torn up his knee and the latter having lost his mind. Leonard Fournette, Shaquil Barrett, Jason Pierre-Paul, Lavonte David, and Mike Evans are all dealing with lingering injuries almost certain to nag them into the playoffs.

Despite his gaudy numbers this season and the adoration from the media, Brady is not an elite quarterback. He needs help. Last year, he had a plethora of vectors on offense assisting him. This year though, most of those weapons have been lost or rendered dull through injury. Ironically, Gronk is the only major skill player on offense who’s finishing out the season healthy. So expect some major regression from the offense as Tampa navigates through the playoffs.

Defensively, the same injury concerns apply now that the Buccaneers may be without their best pass rusher in Shaquil Barrett for a game or more. Seeing that no other defensive lineman on the team is worthy of elite designation, Todd Bowles is going to have to rely on inventive concepts and schemes to help his defense mount consistent pressure against opposing quarterbacks. The problem with that style of pass rush is that it’s usually not sustainable over the course of the postseason, especially when a team is forced to travel on the road in multiple contests.

The good thing is that the Buccaneers can count on Tom Brady, Todd Bowles, and Bruce Arians to carry them intellectually. Simply put, It’s just a matter of whether the club can recover enough of its key personnel in time for critical showdowns against top-tier teams on the road. If not, expect them to no longer be the reigning champions several weeks from now.

Tampa Bay advances far into the playoff bracket if
their injury situation is seriously abated in a week or two. Most of their offensive and defensive weapons need to return to top form soon, preferably before the second round of the playoffs.